Dr. Jenny Long Psychologist

14: Jenny Long, Psy.D., L.P. – Local Psychologist Offers Advice to Those Interested in a Psychology Career & Owning Their Own Business

Dr. Jenny Long is one of the few psychologists in the Springfield, MO area. In this podcast interview, she reveals why she chose to stay in the area during her academic career and why she chose to earn a Psy.D. instead of a Ph.D.. Throughout the interview she also provides copious advice to those who are interested in a graduate degree in psychology and possibly opening their own business. In addition, Dr. Long explains the advantages and disadvantages of owning a mental health practice in a small town.

Dr. Long shares why she chose a career in psychology and what she looked for in her graduate programs and schools. She reminds students that you don’t need to have your whole life mapped out in terms of your academic career but there are things you can do to cover all bases. For example, if you are not sure if you want to work in the academic field or work for the government or own your own private practice, try to find a school that offers both a terminal master’s and a doctorate and that is APA accredited as this will allow you the option to leave after receiving your master’s and work in a variety of settings. With this said, she also suggests that you try to figure out what you want to do with your degree(s) and in what state as different states have different requirements. She also emphasized the importance of getting experience and education outside of the classroom “because what you learn in grad school is very different from the world as a clinician.”

Midwest Counseling & Assessment (MCA) offers many clinical and counseling services to assess and treat mental, emotional, and behavioral health issues. They use a variety of techniques, approaches and therapies including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) and Prolonged Exposure Therapy. Dr. Long briefly explains some of the approaches and admits that many people can benefit from using EMDR to help overcome their trauma, anxiety, depression, OCD, and other issues.

Dr. Long discusses the challenges associated with running a business and practicing as a psychologist. She and her staff at MCA firmly believe that “your emotional health is as important as your physical health.” For those dealing with weight loss issues, Dr. Long shares her own journey to weight loss on her website to offer hope, educate, and destigmatize WLS (a.k.a., bariatric surgery or metabolic surgery) and address several misconceptions associated with it.

Near the end of the interview, she reminds us of the importance of priorities and values in your life by asking yourself if your time reflects your values. In other words, examine how much time you spend on an activity and ask yourself if this reflects my priorities and values. If it doesn’t, make a change.

Connect with Dr. Jenny Long: Facebook | LinkedIn | Twitter | Website
Connect with the Show: Facebook | LinkedIn | Twitter

Interests and Specializations

Dr. Jenny Long is a licensed psychologist specializing in treating chronic pain and illness, OCD, trauma and PTSD, depression, bipolar disorder, weight loss surgery (pre- and post-op issues), and evaluations for surgical clearance and adoption. She uses multiple techniques and approaches including Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), Prolonged Exposure Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), and Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT).

Education

B.A., Psychology (2001); Missouri State University, Springfield, MO.
M.S., Counseling Psychology (2005); Evangel University, Springfield, MO.
Psy.D., Clinical Psychology (2010); School of Professional Psychology at Forest Institute.

Other Sources and Links of Interest

Dr. Jenny Long at Psychology Today

Podcast Transcription

00:00:14 BradleyWelcome to the Master’s in Psychology podcast where psychology students can learn from psychologists, educators, and practitioners to better understand what they do, how they got there, and hear the advice they have for those interested in getting a graduate degree in psychology. I’m your host Brad Schumacher. And today we welcome Dr. Jenny Long to the show. Dr. Long is a licensed psychologist and owner of Midwest Counseling and Assessment located in West Plains, MO. She has been in the field for over 16 years and her practice uses multiple approaches to therapy, including CBT, EMDR, and prolonged exposure therapy, exposure therapy, along with a variety of assessments and evaluations. Today we will learn more about her academic journey, why she chose to receive a Psy.D. instead of a Ph.D. and hear her advice for those who are interested in the field of psychology. Dr Long, welcome to our podcast.
00:01:08 JennyThank you, it’s so good to be here from Big City of West Plains, South Central Missouri.
00:01:14 BradleyIt is and you know what’s nice about this interview is we’re in the same time zone. A lot of times I talk to people that I have to account for one, two, or three different, you know time zones, so it’s kind of nice to talk in the same time zone. Good morning and welcome to the show. I’m glad that you were able to join us.
00:01:31 JennyThank you.
00:01:33 BradleySo, to start us off, tell us just a little bit more about yourself, a little bit more than just my intro.
00:01:39 JennyOK, so I well I think I mentioned this earlier when we were just talking before the show. I, I am a reformed perfectionist, um, I, you know, don’t, I no longer have the same need all the time to have things perfect because there’s no such, as my mentor when I was doing my dissertation said, Jenny, there’s no such thing as a perfect dissertation, just a done one so you get over it, you know, and get it done so. So, um, I’m an introvert but I like people. I just don’t need people all the time. You know so and I have four children that I’ve had since before my daughter, but I have an 8-year-old girl and I’m married to a band director which is always interesting through the year. So yes. Um, and I’ve been, you know, I’ve been in practice for a while and, and had Midwest Counseling for the last four years, but I’ve just enjoyed a lot of different experiences that kind of, I know, have gotten me to this point in my life, and in doing what I do now.
00:02:42 BradleyWell good, well thank you. As you have seen on other podcasts, our goal is to kind of go through your academic journey, why you chose certain schools, why you selected certain degrees. And then in your case, we’d like to talk a little bit more about why you went the Psy.D. route versus the Ph.D. route. But first of all, let’s kind of start with your undergraduate experiences. Where did you attend and at what point did you know that you wanted to get into psychology or start a career in psychology?
00:03:13 JennyWell, I went to Missouri State University which, at the time, was actually Southwest Missouri State before they changed the name. And I actually was a political science with public administration entrance are in focus in that area, criminal justice minor, and then I added psychology just because I liked the classes. I mean, it was just, it was fascinating, and we like learning about ourselves. And you know, every intro to psychology student is diagnosing themselves and their family. And you know, but it was just, it was fascinating to me. But interestingly enough, I did not change to be a psychology major until kind of a fluke towards the end. I, I knew, I guess it was probably towards after my junior year and I was like I had all these classes. But political science it was just I, I didn’t know what I was going to do with that necessarily kind of things had changed, and I didn’t. I wasn’t going to go to law school and, um, so I, I looked, and I had enough credits for psychology to just basically add a few and switch to make it my major and Poli Sci as my, as my, you know, minor with criminal justice. And be able to graduate with just the exact number of credits needed and not having to take a bunch of extra classes. So, I did not have the intention to go to grad school because she, you know, some of my professors would talk about grad school, and I’m like, oh my gosh, why would I want to stay longer? But I like school. I mean, I’m a nerd. And so like that I, I enjoy school, so I didn’t go right into my master’s program from there.
00:04:50 BradleyOK, well that’s a good lead into my next question before I ask that though. So, when did you finally graduate then? What year?
00:04:58 JennySo, I, I graduated in 2001. And I actually worked my first like, you know, real job out of college was at the Child Advocacy Center in Springfield, so we were part of helping with…basically facilitating investigations and support for families and law enforcement agencies and things for when children may have been abused or experienced, you know, so in that setting of Child Advocacy Center, and so I did that for a little less than a year. But then in that time I realized, you know, I really want to go back to school because I don’t want to be held back from doing things that I, I want to do. And you really need, I just needed the degree and so because I was thinking at that time that I probably would enjoy doing more. Like therapy work and so that was just necessary for a master’s degree, but I wasn’t, I wasn’t gonna go for a doctorate either, you know, I was just getting a master’s degree.
00:06:03 BradleyOne step at a time, it seems, sounds like you were just going well, I got through this. Let’s do a little clip you know, let’s work here and then about a year later, you’re thinking.
00:06:10 JennyRight, right?
00:06:14 BradleyYou know, I, I have this urge to go back. So now that you have this urge to go back, how did you decide where to go for your master’s degree and what school did you end up going?
00:06:24 JennyWell, so interestingly enough I, in the, I actually first went to Fort Worth, TX because I was going to go to seminary to do the marriage and family program there. Um, but you know what I learned, I hate marriage and family counseling. And so, I was like this is not me and I also realized too that in that setting you would be able to possibly get a, you know, a, a licensure as a master’s level, but it was not, it, it would be a terminal degree. You could not go on and get a doctorate that would result in licensure. You know, so there’s a lot of different…there are doctorate programs out there that may be Christian counseling or other things like that, but they don’t mean that that person can then take the licensure exam. And, you know, that’s, so that’s always something people need to be aware of because you have to be a Doctorate of Psychology, whether that’s Ph.D. or Psy.D.. Uhm, so that’s where I set my sights back on Evangel, uhm, which is a small kind of Fine Arts, uh, it’s a Christian School, but for the master’s program you didn’t have all the regulations that they typically had for undergrad. Um, and you know what I, I think what I liked about that was what they offered, and it was small. You know, much smaller than anything I’d been at, you know, larger MSU, and which is much larger. So, um, go ahead.
00:07:55 BradleyYeah, what I was going to say. I’m sorry for interrupting. There’s a little lag, obviously, on, on Zoom here, but one thing that I wanted to ask is well. How did you know that you wanted to…at what point did you know that you wanted to continue on for your doctorate and receive your Psy.D., and then we’re going to lead up to that ultimate question of how did you decide on getting a Psy.D. versus a Ph.D.? Loaded question, probably two or three questions there, but kind of bring us through, OK, you, you have your master’s. It is an M.A. or M.S….did you get…?
00:08:26 JennyIt was Master of Science in Counseling Psychology, yeah.
00:08:29 BradleyOK and then did you take another break after that, or did you go right into your doctorate program?
00:08:36 JennyI did. I took a break for two months. And then I started in July on my doctorate. Uhm, you know, I. So, it was, it was interesting and I, I guess I, I’ll say this about Evangel. One of the things that was different. ’cause I, I have liked having different experiences at different schools was that they had a spiritual integration aspect that was not geared about just, I mean, they’re an assembly school. I’m not even of that faith, but they were focused on helping you to do that with whatever the religion, uhm, just because that’s an important part of people you know, and so that was something that I really took from there was being able. And so, I will see a variety of clients. It doesn’t matter what their religion or spiritual, you know, spirituality is. And so that was really helpful. But then I also knew that I wanted to go a different direction as I looked at doctorate programs. Um, and I think I started it…at the point where I started thinking about my doctorate was when I finished my thesis work because before that I was like good Lord, I am not doing this again. And so, I was certainly not going to take on a dissertation, but then I was like no, I, my, the drive for me was I didn’t want to be held back again, you know, by a degree, and when you look at, you know Missouri, it’s licensed professional counselors and, um, social workers are they master’s level clinicians that we have, but you know, the LPC’s have not had the strongest lobby, and you’re going to, you’re limited on the clientele that you can see. And I, I wanted to do a variety of things and I just didn’t want to be held back by that, um, and so that’s where I really started looking, you know, in that last semester of the doctorate program to consider that.
00:10:32 BradleyOk, and so in, in your own words, when you look back, you know, for advice for students who are considering hey, should I go the Ph.D. route or Psy.D. route, any advice that you’d have for them on helping them decide which route to go?
00:10:48 JennyYeah, UM, you know, for, for me, UM. Well, I’m very pragmatic, uh, and I, I like time. Just things that are logical and when they work out and one of the big factors for me was even just looking at schools that would take my master’s degree into my doctorate program because I didn’t want to start all over again. And so, I think I was able to transfer in like 36 to 40 hours of my master’s program, instead of starting at Ground Zero. And that’s when so, you know, I was looking at like University of Missouri, the counseling program there for the doctorate is excellent, um, and also with School of Professional Psychology in Springfield where I already was. Um, and that I started looking at those specifically because they were willing to take my master’s work instead of kind of going into an academic kind of setting.
00:11:49 BradleyWell, you know the one thing that came to my mind while you were answering that question is you know, any other reasons why you would select a certain program or school? Number one, as you said hey, can they accept any, and all, or a portion of your master’s, you know, degree hours. That’s one thing. Any other things to consider when looking at different programs or schools for your graduate work?
00:12:16 JennyYes, uh, two other big things, I think come First off, uh, that and this does not. It’s not always across the board. You really have to look at what each individual program offers, but when I selected my doctorate program, it one of the big reasons was because they had multiple areas of specialization, um, and so from you could choose from neuropsychology, forensics, integrated healthcare. I mean, it was just a bigger, more bigger, um, a lot more opportunity for different facets for you to figure out where you wanted to specialize in, and the emphasis historically, with Psy.D. programs over Ph.D., versus Ph.D. programs is we still had to do a dissertation, but it is much more of a clinical focus than it is an academic one. And for me, you know, my cousin actually is a psychologist in Colorado. He went to University of Denver and got his Psy.D. there and so he had kind of explained that and I knew what he was doing, and I think that’s probably what drew me more to that, you know the Psy.D. program. Umm, but that is, I knew I wasn’t going to end up in an academic setting trying to teach, and you know nothing wrong with this but when you go to some of those schools, you’re going to do more of your practicum experience, like in a college counseling center, and so you know some of them may be smaller settings for doing some of your practicum. And I liked with the school that I had looked at, you know where I went, we had multiple different opportunities as far as different settings. I mean from, you know, from working in the jail for the county to, you know, hospitals and clinics, private practice. I mean it just ran the gamut and so I liked being able to really build clinical skills when I was in my, my doctorate program.
00:14:11 BradleyOK, very good answer. The other thing that I’d add, and I’ve found through a lot of different interviews is really deciding, you mentioned it. You knew that you didn’t want to end up in the academic setting. And so that’s one thing to consider. It, you know, a lot of times people think about, well, what do I want to do with this degree, whether it’s a Psy.D. or a Ph.D., and by that time hopefully you know what you want to do with it, because that helps direct you whether or not you go the Psy.D. or Ph.D. route. I know another thing that people have told me, and I was the old school thinking well it’s gotta be Ph.D….
00:14:41 JennyRight. Right!
00:14:46 BradleyNo matter what you do, gotta go Ph.D. and then this Psy.D., this Psy.D. was this new thing and, and at the very beginning it was Oh my gosh. What is this? No, that’s you can’t go that route. Is that even going to stick around, you know, is that really going to be applicable? Now it’s gained a lot more integrity, reputation and it really is, you know, I talked to 3 – 4 different people on both Psy.D. and Ph.D. route and you still do the dissertation, but to your point, it’s more clinical than it is on the other one. And then when you go into the academic world, depending on if you’re a level 1, 2, or 3 school, you’re going to have to do some research. And if you don’t, if you don’t like doing research, then probably you don’t want to go the Ph.D. route and go the academic route.
00:15:31 JennyRight.
00:15:32 BradleySo just my two cents after you know, talking with people over the years so anything…
00:15:33 JennyRight. No, I think that’s absolutely right.
00:15:39 BradleyYeah, any anything else that you’d like to add?
00:15:43 JennyYeah, I think the other thing that’s important for, for people to consider as, as they look at these is that you know I did not have the opportunity for grad assistantships. OK, um, and but most programs, if you look at especially state schools, um, which are good programs and they with that and even some just different universities like that with that are researched more research-oriented, they’re going to have more graduate assistantship opportunities. And so, if that’s something that really appeals to you, then that could be an important factor as well. I did not have that, however, I did loan repayment through the National Health Service Corps, and so I, my, my student loans are paid in full because then I work in a rural area, um, and I knew that was going to be a possibility for me to do for the area that I was at. So, I was a little less worried about getting the graduate assistantships in my doctoral program. But for some people that’s a really important factor and, and worth considering. I mean, you know, when you think about the cost of school because it’s not cheap, you know.
00:16:51 BradleyYou know, I agree with you. I agree with you. A lot of people still pay on their graduate education for sure later on in life. So that’s I, I’m glad to hear that you were able to do that. One other thing that came to mind when we’re talking is, you mentioned that basically it was, it was the variety of classes that kind of led you to your doctoral program. I hear sometimes that people are, are swayed to go to this program at this school because of the research that people are doing there, some of the doctors are doing there. And so did anything else come into play in your decision in, to go to that particular school.
00:17:29 JennyWell, I liked that the, many of the teachers that were, were, were teaching or they were the professors, they were actually doing the work. OK, they were in real life settings and working in psychologists. One of my favorite professors worked for the, you know, uh, a federal medical facility but doing neuropsychology and he was fantastic, and I learned so much from him because it was always about relating that to real life examples for us to understand and it was not just about book work. You had to understand that, but, understanding that in the context of practice and so I have always been more interested in hearing from somebody that has been outside the classroom to experience some things, especially when we talk about clinical practice. Because what you learn in grad school is very different from the world as a clinician. And so, I really that was one of the things that I, I really liked, and one other thing was they even offered, I took a business class even in my program. And, you know, most people, to understand what we all talk about going out to “hang out your own shingle” which is not something we can all do, or we all want to do. But I, you know we did business plans, we learned those things and I don’t think that that’s necessarily a part of a lot of graduate programs. Maybe it is now more, but I think that was rare at the time.
00:19:00 BradleyYeah, I agree with you. I’ve heard a lot of my guests say yeah, you don’t learn how to run a business. You don’t, you know, if you don’t work with any numbers, spreadsheets and all of a sudden, you’re thrown into it, you, you almost have to pay somebody else to do that instead, and we’re going to get back to that a little later on. But I know that you, I, I see that you spent some time working at the Ozarks Medical Center, first, as a licensed professional counselor and then as a licensed clinical psychologist. So, tell us how you found that job and why did you choose to work with them.
00:19:32 JennyUh, well it, it, it just, as things happen it, it just kind of happened that way, you know, in life. My husband had a job in this area, ah, we, we distance dated and we, we were only this is only a couple hours from where I grew up in Springfield, um, but it was, that was the only place that there were psychologists, like in this whole area, right? So, I had started working on them to try to get an internship so I wouldn’t have to go elsewhere, and I ended up doing inpatient for, uh, in in at a hospital for my internship. But I did develop, I worked with them to develop a residency, basically, um, for me to work to get my licensure. And it was honestly driven by the fact that they needed psychologists. They had psychologists at the time, and so it was a place where I could go, and we wouldn’t necessarily leave from my husband’s job ’cause he had a good set up with the school where he was at and my job had more flexibility to go some, you know, to be here so.
00:20:35 BradleyOK, well good.
00:20:35 JennyThat that just kind of happened and then I was able to, actually though, I worked because I had already had my master’s degree and worked as a master’s level clinician through grad school. But I, with having the, the degree I was trying to finish my doctoral dissertation so I, ’cause I was all but dissertation ’cause you, if you’re picking up the theme like how much I love research, right? Uh, and uh. So, I had to finish that before I could do my, take my boards and all of that stuff. So that’s what I spent a year doing, working as an LPC and finishing that so I could get into my doctoral hours.
00:21:13 BradleyOK, well thank you for that background and you mentioned the first thing on one of my podcasts and a lot of people that might be joining, I mean, when you say “All But Dissertation”, if you see somebody’s vita and it says “ABD”, that’s what it, that’s what it stands for is “All But Dissertation.” So, it just means that they passed the orals and the writtens, and now they’re just finishing their, their dissertation. So, I just wanted to let the audience know what that meant. So, one other thing that that came up during some conversations recently with other podcasters and podcast interviews, because some of my guests they have their own podcasts as well and so it’s always interesting to find out what they’re, what they’re talking about with their topics. One thing that I, I’ve asked, I always thought that you needed to attend a school, a Graduate School that was RET accredited and some of my guests would come back and say, well, I, I agree if you’re going this route, but I disagree if you’re going a different route. So, tell me what your thoughts are on hey, do I need to go to an APA accredited school or not? What are your thoughts on that?
00:22:16 JennyI err towards yes because you don’t, so that you’re not, again, you don’t limit yourself perhaps later, um, because there are no rules are always changing and, and I don’t know right now, there’s probably ’cause APIC is, is another accreditation body. Um, there’s also because there’s the difference between you have the APA school, but also a lot of people want their internship to be APA accredited, but it is, I mean it, it’s a fight to get enough of the internships and so there’s a lot of, there are plenty of good people that are going to be great psychologists that will do non APA sites for their internship because they just need to get through it. If you want to go work for the federal government, you, you need that, now unless that rule has changed, but at the time, you know so even 10 – 11 years ago, even to get a job at a VA or somewhere else, you needed to have an APA internship site. So not just the school, but also the internship site. So, if you have an interest in that, like knowing where you want to work, and I think that’s always hard because we don’t know where we’re going to end up, but think about what you might want to do and you cover your basis to make sure it allows you to get there, because otherwise you’d have to go back and honestly connect like complete a second APA internship, you know, or second one that was APA, just for that job, you know. So, know the rules, I guess, you know where you want to go.
00:23:45 BradleyYeah, and the other thing that was brought up is, it really depends not only what you see yourself doing with the degree inside or outside of academia or working for the government or a government agency, but the other thing that comes into play is certain states have different rules as well, and so every state has a different rule regarding that as well. So, it’s, we’re almost making it more complicated for our audience telling him, well, you have to consider it.
00:24:08 JennyI know.
00:24:09 BradleyYou have to consider this, this and this. Well, just have a good, you know, my advice is just have a good discussion with somebody who’s in the field that you’re working. And ask them for their, you know, suggestions and then talk to somebody who’s in a different field and whether it’s inside or outside of academia, most people are going to be welcoming. I mean, you’re welcoming and you’re, you’re sharing your academic journey with us, so it’s just pick up the phone and call them and and try to get that information from them. So, I appreciate you sharing that. In 2000, oh, go ahead.
00:24:39 JennyWell, I, I was just going to say the other thing I would say to students is that look things change all the time and you know we just in the, since COVID we now can do telehealth through most insurances and Medicare and Medicaid and, and so things change all the time. So, you know if, if you make a decision, don’t, don’t also obsess that you’ve made the wrong one because things have a way of working out, kind of where you need for them to, so I, I think it’s really easy to get hung up on some of those small decisions because we’re like, oh my gosh so I have to, I have to have my whole life mapped out. And that’s the way it feels sometimes, and I think, you know, for I just would say for students as they think about that just know that things are going to work out and you’re not going to make the wrong decision. You’re just going to have an experience and figure stuff out as you go ’cause you don’t have to get it all perfect the first time.
00:25:32 BradleyVery good reminder and advice. I know that when I looked at your background and then leading up to going through your grad schools and then taking breaks in between, in 2017 of July, you began working at Midwest Counseling and Assessment as an owner and licensed psychologist. So, what led to this change and tell us a little bit more about how you became an owner? Give us more background on what led you to MCA.
00:25:59 JennyOK, I, I like variety but I also I wanted freedom. I, I did not want to be held to a nine to five, eight to five job, uhm, working and doing whatever the clinic or agency may have thought was the best thing at the time. And you know ’cause there’s a place for that. But I also knew I had done that long enough, and I, I think the other big thing at that point was my daughter was going into preschool and I just did not want the, the one thing in life you cannot take back is your time, um, and I don’t think also, people look back when they’re at the end of their life and say, man, I wish I would have worked more you. You have to find a way to, to prioritize the things that you value. And so, for me, while in some ways I worked more until I kind of got into a rhythm, but I got to I, I controlled it so if I stayed up and I was working at 2:00 AM. That was fine. It was still doing what I needed to do, but it was on my time schedule and so I think that was one of the biggest things and I liked the challenge and I wanted to do more than just psychology. I enjoyed doing the business side of things, which was a big learning curve, but it would also give me some of the variety that I really like.
00:27:24 BradleyWell, I like that you brought that up because you know one of my questions was, you know, you wear multiple hats. You know you are a psychologist. You are an owner. I’m not sure if you’re involved in the PR or if you’re involved in the books. You know, tell us a little bit more about some of the challenges that you have as both psychologist, owner, PR, wearing multiple hats.
00:27:47 JennyWell, I think you know as the owner you, you feel responsible to when you have employees of employees and then I have some 1099 therapists that work with me too. But you know you are responsible for making sure that that that the clinics you know that we still run. And so, it’s dependent upon the things that you’re doing. And you have to find a way to, to do those different things, and it’s not it’s, it is helpful though when you outsource because, you know, know what your weaknesses are. I started out from the get-go, it’s not that I’m bad with money, but I am certainly not an accountant, and you know. So, I, I had an accountant from the get-go to make sure I did. Things right because I didn’t want it to be hiring an attorney later to fix the mistakes with the IRS, you know? Uhm, and uh and look, you figure out what the return on your investment is because nobody is going to pay me $160.00 an hour to do their website. So why would I do that for myself? If you know if, if I wouldn’t if somebody else wouldn’t hire me, I wouldn’t hire me either for doing the website so just doing some of those things are worth the investment because your time has a certain amount of value to it, and you have to figure out what it is gives you the most value for how you spend your time.
00:29:09 BradleyWell, you mentioned one other thing and I’m going to share the screen again. Getting to know us, of course we, we have you there and then Elizabeth Turner and, and then Curt Cook and Susan. You mentioned, you mentioned one thing that I didn’t recognize, so this is for my edification as well as our audience, you have some people working for you that are a 1099 or what was that again?
00:29:34 JennyYeah, so it’s, a 1099, just as an independent contractor, and those are actually the therapist that work with me, so someone else. So you know, like also, I’ll just take this opportunity to point out a websites always a work in progress and guess how long I’ve you know needed to put their bio stuff up, right, for a while, but as a business owner I’m seeing clients, and so you, you know you weigh those things, but I promise you I’m going to end up probably in the next two weeks now going on and fixing that because I know if there’s other traffic to it, you know? Uhm, but the 1099 so just independent contractor. You really can’t have that and there’s very specific standards for W2 versus a 1099. I don’t control the activities of the therapist, they are, they are allowed to, they work here. I do get clientele. But I don’t control their hours. You know the things like that, so it’s not. It’s a good situation for them and for me for right now, although there’s a lot of benefits and people kind of, oh, there’s a big discussion in private practice of you know, really moving towards a W2 employee model. Which at some point I may do, but right now what I have works for me so.
00:30:55 BradleySo, you know the natural follow-up question for me is if I was a 1099 independent contractor, does that mean that I lease space or lease office space from, on your facility or how does that work if they’re working within your business?
00:31:09 JennyWell, there, there are numerous setups up that you can have. Sometimes it’s a certain percentage of what they make, now there’s, there’s also arguments about, about that. Some people, some, some will tell you, you shouldn’t do that. Other people that that’s fine, so you have to get into understanding the legalities of whatever setup you have and, um, but it, it generally is, or they may just pay you rent or pay you more than just for the office space because you know I, I supply the coffee and the drinks and the office supplies. And you know, having an office manager to manage things and to bill people so they’re getting more than just the space, right? And so that’s where you can do a variety of different setups if you have them pay a flat rate, but sometimes too when somebody is just also starting to build their practice, having them do a flat rate may not seem as reasonable. You may want to just do a, a buildup to be able to manage it for both people you know.
00:32:20 BradleyRight, so it really depends on what you want to set up and look at the ramifications of each of those not only on your time and your resources, but in terms of tax, you know and taxes and how that’s treated. So, I’m looking at my other screen here and I’m, I’m looking at all the different services that you have and some of them you know, stand out. CBT has been around, you know, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy has been around, that’s almost a staple. You also offer EMDR, which is Eye Movement Desensitization, Desensitization and Reprocessing. And then I also saw and some of your areas for you, Prolonged Exposure Therapy. So, for our audience, kind of briefly describe EMDR.
00:33:08 JennyOK, EMDR is a fantastic, well researched, effective treatment for clients that…trauma is where it really developed of working with trauma victims and, and survivors and, and just helping people be able to process that but there, I tell you what, there’s not many clients that I could not use EMDR with, so I mean I have treated people with anxiety, depression, OCD, chronic pain, boundary issues. I mean the, it runs the gamut and it’s very it, but it allows the brain to basically do its work on its own where it takes the inhibition out. So, there is the right and left brain are communicating so quickly, so this is very rudimentary explanation, but ultimately, it’s about rebuilding the neural networks in the brain. You’re you know you’re, you’re taking down the old rusty bridge that could collapse at any point in time, and you’re building a better bridge that’s efficient and safe. And so that. And that’s what EMDR really is geared towards, and what it does versus, and I’ll say on a painfulness scale it, it can be painful for people in a moment, but they generally experience more relief in a much faster way. A prolonged exposure therapy was actually a training I did and and was doing it more frequently before I learned EMDR, and I did that with, had learned that from the Center for Deployment, and they, uh, which has the military university, um, but it is more painful. It is a lot more painful, and people really have to know what they’re getting into at first, because basically it’s, it’s a method to desensitize them to the trauma by reliving it over and over and over and over again to the point where it does not have the same kind of physiological effects on them and the psychological effects that it would have before. So, you really have to provide an informed opportunity like informed consent for a client, so they know what they’re getting into because it is, it’s painful for people.
00:35:24 BradleyAnd I’m going to share the screen again. You know, on one of your social media sites and your LinkedIn, you are a proponent of EMDR, and it’s obvious because you have a lot of different posts on here on how is it applied? Are certain people a good candidate for using EMDR? So, there’s a lot of good resources on your LinkedIn with some good links to some professionals that have been in that EMDR field for a long time. What do what do they actually look like? We’re looking at this and that’s kind of nice breakdown. One thing that we’ve done on our website, just one plug for us is we have a careers page and then we actually have different sections on different approaches that you can take and applications. And so, there are some good links here too if you’re really interested in EMDR therapy you can visit your LinkedIn and then our careers page as well. So, it’s interesting to hear how people are applying it and how it’s beneficial and, to your point, you’re not the only one who’s told me, you know, it’s, it’s hard to find somebody where EMDR is not useful or, you know, they prefer another therapy, so you also offer a variety of assessments and, and other measurements.
00:36:35 JennyRight.
00:36:41 BradleyI mean, we’ve all, you know if you’re in, if you’re in psychology, you’d know some of these basic ones, but tell us a little bit more of some of the ones that you typically use the most, and then some other ones that are outside the box that you have used in the past or, or plan on using in the future.
00:37:00 JennyUm, do you mean in, just not necessarily in particular tests, but just in terms of types of psychological evals?
00:37:06 BradleyYep.
00:37:07 JennyYeah, so one that I got into because I worked in a hospital setting was medical evals. So basically, we call them medical readiness. So, for instance, spinal cord stimulators, lumbar fusions, um, Bariatric surgery and, and you know even things like, for transplant patients, I have done that before and those were things that I really, I really found that I enjoyed because I always I have worked also in medical settings in other capacities besides as a psychologist and I really enjoyed just the medical aspect of it. So, working with the doctors is something that I’ve really enjoyed, and they’re once you, I’ve done them for a long time, so I’m fairly efficient at it and I, I think that it’s helpful in trying to be able to educate the client for them to also know what they’re getting into so that they that they’re better prepared and just all the way around, you know. Um, and I think, so I, I also do a lot of cognitive evals like for IQ and adaptive functioning. Um, and sometimes that is just for the purpose for somebody to maintain services. So, you know if we have intellectually disabled adults, they, they may have to, you know, have a frequent IQ test or adaptive functioning things like that. And then I do not do a full neuro psych battery, but oftentimes we’ll do some cognitive testing just to kind of give even a baseline for how somebody’s memory is doing if they have maybe undergone certain medical procedures, um, or just have it a decline that you know a neurologist kind of wants to, to get an idea about, so they might refer for that.
00:39:00 BradleyThe other one that I think was interesting when I was doing a lot of research on MCA was you offer preadoption evaluation, so tell me what’s kind of involved in that and what’s the goal behind that evaluation.
00:39:15 JennyWell, for most of the preadoption evaluations, a lot of times it’s for international adoptions and each country usually has their own set of requirements. So, I’ve primarily done them for several Asian countries. And it, it really is about what they’re what they’re looking for is to get an idea of how much a person’s mental health is impacting their functioning basically, and how are they as a couple to be able to take on the challenges because there, there are a lot of challenges in taking on adoption and in a rewarding one, um, but to help them kind of be prepared for that, but they you know the countries have some certain specifications that they want to make sure that the parents meet before they’re authorized so. I kind of got into that simply because there was a need in our area. We have, uh, there’s several people that have done a lot of multiple international adoptions, and so I just found that it was a need. It was something that’s straightforward and you’re also, you’re not really dealing with pathology. You know it’s just. It’s, it’s normal people stuff and so I, and it’s a part of a really positive process, and so it’s just something that I’ve enjoyed doing.
00:40:34 BradleyWell, it sounds like it. I mean it. What’s nice about your practice is you have a wide variety of services, and you know one thing that I’d ask you is how is your service different than other services in your area? We’ve kind of touched on a few of them, but anything else come to mind in terms of how is MCA different?
00:40:55 JennyWell, I think you know honestly, the most obvious one is I’m the only psychologist in in my area. In my town there are some that come into town to do disability evals, which I don’t do. I also don’t, I don’t do court evals like for custody disputes because I have to live here, right? So, I, it’s and it’s not a big enough place to do that. But as far as, you know MCA, we are not just another behavioral health clinic. It’s it is not just a community mental Health Center. I know a lot of people in the professional realm that they are not going to go and sit in a community mental Health Center where they feel like they’re on display and people look at them as not having just a need for growth, they are looked at as suddenly having a mental health issue. I mean you know that they have a, they have a mental illness and so for us that’s why, beyond HIPAA, I mean anonymity is important. I mean, my, my hope is that we normalize mental health, but you know, that’s not necessarily the reality for everyone. And we want to be able to provide a safe, comfortable place that should not look like, it should be like a coming to somebody’s living room instead of it coming to a doctor’s office. You know, and, and I call it, boutique therapy is because we’re really more specialized to we know who our clients are, and we know who our client base is. And so, we are also the other thing we are experienced. I don’t, there’s nothing wrong with supervision and I’ll do supervision, but I don’t have that set up within my clinic. They’re from like they may be supervisees from other locations. Um, but it’s just not what we do. Like a friend of mine opened a clinic a couple years after I did up the road. They have tons of new therapists, provisionally licensed, and it’s great. They are meeting their need. It’s what they do. But my lane is this, and so we know that, and we just want to do what we do and do it well.
00:43:09 BradleyOK, well thank you for explaining that. I, I know when I was going through all of your links and websites, website pages I should say, I came across one that was really interesting, and I enjoyed reading about your weight loss journey and your three reasons for sharing. Can you tell me a little bit more about, you know I, I like the story here and I liked how you gave the three reasons for sharing your story but tell me a little bit more about this and I’m sure it’s probably influenced and been a topic of discussion with some of your clients if they came across this as well.
00:43:46 JennyIt is and you know I, I already was seeing a lot of bariatric patients that we were having to do evals and in helping them prepare, so I was very familiar with the process, but for me a big motivator is just my health. I have a family health history or family history of just a lot of health issues that I knew were going to be a problem if I wasn’t able to do something about it. And so, when you research something and fully kind of understand the reasons why, because there are people, unfortunately, out there you know that, and I deal with clients that have this, people, deal with people with this mentality, they just say well calories in calories out. If you just work out and don’t eat as much, then you’ll be fine. I’m like, well, I’m so glad you have good genes like that, but that’s not the reality for most Americans. And you know. And, and people so. Uhm, just helping them to realize that this is more important about their health and being able to be a success and not be held down by that because the other thing is there is a lot of mental health issues. There’s a lot of psychological aspects that go along with weight, and so for people to, to understand that this is ’cause, it’s more than just getting your stomach reduced. Or, you know, having some change in anatomy because that doesn’t change your brain. So really helping people catch their brain up, right, to what has happened in their body. Uh, because they may not start to think like a skinny person in until you do some of the work that goes with that so.
00:45:23 BradleyAnd, and the other thing that comes to mind for me is I know we’ve probably, this is my opinion, my observation, we, we’re making strides in overcoming the stigmatism or the stigma associated with you have to have this nice thin body and now we’re doing that in ads and bringing nontraditional you know types of bodies on those ads as well. So, I think we’re making as a society we’re making some strides moving forward, but I’m sure there’s still a lot of clients that come in and not only deal with hey, I’m dealing with this, but even. After especially with the bariatric or the, I think it’s gastric bypass surgery, does that also fall under there? Yeah, dealing, dealing with how you look afterwards, like you just said and so I, I liked, I liked your story because you gave the three reasons to offer hope, to educate, and to destigmatize as well. So, congratulations on your success I, I’m glad to see that it went well for you, yeah?
00:46:26 JennyThank you.
00:46:29 BradleyWhat do you love most about your job? Just sum it up. What do you love most about your job?
00:46:35 JennyUh, I love that I get to do something that I enjoy, and I get to do it as I want to. You know, I get to call the shots and you know. I love that I can set out to, that there are multiple people that are going to be affected positively and what I mean by that is, you know my mission with my clinic is, ah, is really to improve the quality of life for everybody that’s associated with it. So yes, myself, my family. But employees, people that work with me, clients and then all those families that are surrounded because if I am enjoying my job and if I am doing and seeing the clients that I know I see best. Then I’m going to help them the most and that goes out beyond that so I, you know, that’s really the goal. And even if that means that I work less because then I love coming in to see clients because I know I don’t have to do it 8 hours a day, five days a week, because there is. I don’t care who you are, nobody can sustain that pace. That’s too much and I, I love that I get to, to do it as I see is, is necessary and uh, so.
00:47:48 BradleyWell, good…good. I mean, you almost seem like, yeah, you already…
00:47:50 JennyThat’s probably it, yeah.
00:47:52 BradleyYou already answered partially my, my next question. What are your plans and goals for the future? You talked about your mission and some of your goals, any other plans or goals for the future.
00:48:02 JennyWell, so my husband, we joked that he likes, he has all kinds of ideas and he’s a visionary. He would like to see a spa attached to my clinic with also a, a Helo Pad, uh Helo Pad. You know for the helicopter and I’m like dream big yeah?
00:48:15 BradleyRight.
00:48:17 JennyUhm, no I, I would love to expand and include other disciplines and, you know, like I want to have a massage therapist and maybe have a yoga studio attached. Uhm, I just I. My mission too is that I think we should take caring for our psychological health as, and well-being, as normal and, and as important as checking your cholesterol. Because it’s another facet of our health, and so it’s a. When we see it differently like that, it’s a little bit easier for people to actually take action to do something about it and, and be OK with it, and I think that’s part of the destigmatizing, but it’s not just destigmatizing, it’s about just accepting that like sometimes we need other things and if we’re going to go and work out until, you know, till we sweat everything out, but yet we won’t take care of our mental health. Then you are going to suffer physically. So, I, that’s, I think that’s my mission is to continue to in, in, in different ways that I might be able to do that to, to do that in my community.
00:49:24 BradleyWell, there’s the shout out. There’s the call out to everybody who’s going to be watching or listening as if you’re, if you’re a massage therapist or you do yoga, go ahead and reach out to Dr. Long and have a discussion.
00:49:38 JennyAbsolutely, absolutely.
00:49:38 BradleyI have I, I have some fun questions here near the end that I asked most of my guests and, and one of them, the first one is what is your favorite term principle or theory and why?
00:49:54 JennyWell term is this is Are you ready for this? This is very a big psychological term. No. That is, that is one of my favorites. It’s the idea of boundaries, you know. Uhm, I, I probably there’s, there’s two that I really like to pull from in interpersonal therapy where we are a microcosm. People, people recreate a microcosm in therapy of their world, so they’re interactions, and so this is how you get a glimpse of what their world is like and so. Theory wise, I guess that drives me in practice and understanding, but then I really like Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) because it’s just it’s logical and and understanding the self-defeating behaviors we have in irrational beliefs. Because, you know, if you always expect everybody to behave as you would, you will always be disappointed, but that’s how we often operate and so I yeah, I love I. I love the hardcore nature of Albert Ellis. He’s just like this is just the way it is, you know.
00:50:59 BradleyOK, very good answers. What’s something new that you learned recent?
00:51:06 JennyUh, well this week now this is not psychological at all, but you can fix a detached toilet chain with a hair clip so and it works just fine and it, it saves it saves the plumber call. I think, uh, the on a more serious note that if your values influence your priorities, then your time will reflect your values. And that, let that be the guide. Because we all are going to maintain I, I don’t think balance is kind of an overused word. I think Harmony is more appropriate. We want harmony in our life in a variety of different areas. But, you know, if you say you want, you value your family, but yet you work 75 hours a week, I’m going to say your time doesn’t reflect your value, you know, and I think that there’s some things that just that has even been reiterated to me more through like COVID in, in this whole pandemic time and, uh, just something I don’t take for granted for sure.
00:52:16 BradleyWell, that’s very good advice. While you were talking about that, I’m thinking, well, how much time do I spend doing each of these things that I’m passionate about? So, I, I started to do a self-evaluation right there.
00:52:22 JennyRight…Good!
00:52:25 BradleyIf you had the time and money, if you had the time and money to complete one project or go on one trip, what would you do?
00:52:35 JennyOh man, I would love to go to multiple countries, uh, you know, just through Europe, um, and I mean, do. Maybe you know, maybe not, some cruises, maybe a cruise in the Mediterranean, but just, I mean, even through you know Denmark and Germany and Italy, I mean I would just go, I would take like the whole summer and, ah, and just visit those places so.
00:53:03 BradleyI know that I have some friends that are traveling in Europe right now and they’re posting on Facebook, and I traveled a couple years ago all over the place as well, but they just, I just noticed that many of the EU countries closed things down again because of the rise in COVID and the delta, you know, variant…
00:53:23 JennyI saw that.
00:53:24 BradleyIncreasing that, so just be aware of that if you’re going to try to travel a little bit more.
00:53:28 JennyRight.
00:53:29 BradleyDo you have any other advice for those interested in the field of psychology or opening their own business or practice?
00:53:38 JennyUhm, I think well. One of my favorite quotes is no one can, it’s Eleanor Roosevelt, “no one can make you feel inferior without your consent” and it, it’s, you know, you are the keeper of that gate, and we overestimate, I think all the time, the importance of what other people say and do and underestimate the control that we have of ourselves. And I think as you, you figure out where you’re going and what you’re doing, you, you know, you take you take information from other people, but you are not also held to that, um, in figuring out your when you’re trying to figure out what’s right and wrong for you. And I kind of alluded to that earlier. Um, you’re going to know what it is that’s best for you and, and it’s OK to trust your instincts and just also know that whatever experiences, how awful they may be sometimes, are going to be, help you get to a place in your life where you’re doing what you need to do, and, uh, you know, don’t realize that you have much more control of, of those things than, than I guess other, other people that we sometimes allow.
00:54:49 BradleyVery good advice and a final reminder of your…control what you can control. And it’s interesting that you used that Eleanor Roosevelt quote, ’cause I’ve heard that plenty of times now and it’s a good, it’s a good piece of advice. Is there anything else that you would like to discuss or bring up on this podcast?
00:55:11 JennyUhm, you know one thing I think that is helpful for somebody to, to think about ’cause I, I did talk about this earlier when I was trying to decide on a grad program, if, if you think if there’s any chance that you are going to want to go for a doctorate degree, look at programs that you can get into the doctorate program and if you decide not to go that route, you can usually terminate with a master’s degree. You could, you could just do it as a masters to complete the requirements. But I would look at programs like that so that you don’t set yourself up to having to, you know, I was looking for schools before that I could transfer in my work, but I don’t know that as many do that even anymore, and so you know if you even think there’s an inkling of it, then think of you know, just maybe set yourself up so that you could go on to do that and, and to consider that when you look at programs I think.
00:56:08 BradleyOK, very good advice. So, if you’re not sure, just look at one that does offer the doctorate degree and if you wanted to leave early, reach the number of credits required just to get that master’s.
00:56:23 JennyYeah, just that they it, and I don’t know if every school do it quite like that, but even if they have a terminal masters and a terminal doctorate within that program, that will usually be your best bet, yeah?
00:56:33 BradleyOK, well I really appreciate your time and willingness to share your thoughts with us today. I learned a couple things from you today as well and I hope that our audience does learn from this podcast. Jenny, thanks again for sharing your story and advice with us.
00:56:50 JennyThank you so much for having me, Brad. I appreciate it.
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